Life in a Northern Town

Salsa di Parmigiano & Lamb Blade Chops

I used to buy a Salsa di Parmigiano dip at Kowalski's and ate it by the bucketful with slices of fresh baguette. I completely forgot about it after we moved up here (I wonder what other good food I've forgotten about) but had a lovely reminder in my email in-box a couple of weeks ago. Lemons & Anchovies, a blogger I follow, had a post about it and I was reaquainted with my old cheesy pal from Woodbury. I made a double batch and have eaten it by the spoonful ever since. It's good with bread, roasted chicken, lamb, potatoes, green beans— it's my grown up version of ketchup. One more reason to make a batch— it's been in my refrigerator for a month and still tastes fresh. This is a seriously rock solid and delicious dip, you'll be happy to have it in your fridge.

The day after I made the Salsa di Parmigiano, we needed to eat dinner and I was at an utter loss for a decent and easy idea. So, after 10 minutes spent pacing up and down the meat aisle at the IGA hoping for a stroke of genius (or at least, above average), I saw 2 packages of lamb blade chops. That was close enough to genius as far as I was concerned and I headed home to make something above average for dinner. I marinated them in red onion, rosemary, red wine vinegar, garlic and olive oil for about an hour or so, grilled them on the stove top in my grill pan (another seriously good idea) and put a generous dollop of Salsa di Parmigiano on the chops. It was definitely an above average dinner.

Salsa di ParmigianoAdapted From Michael Chiarello

1/2 pound Parmesan
1/2 pound Asiago cheese
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 to 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste

Preparation
Remove any rind from the cheeses and chop the cheeses into rough 1-inch chunks. Pulse the cheeses, red onion and garlic in a food processor until reduced to a fine, pea-sized gravel. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and stir in the rosemary.

Add the red pepper flakes, 1 cup of the olive oil and black pepper. Stir.  If mixture seems dry, add more olive oil by the 1/4 cup. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it ( I added 1 tbsp of Maldon sea salt). Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before using.